ALTON — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and Senior Services Plus have jointly received a grant for a two-year project to improve the safety and effectiveness of medication use during care transitions from hospital to home for older adults treated for venous thromboembolism.
The grant opportunity was made possible by a collaboration between Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change and Bristol-Meyers Squibb Independent Medical Education, which is providing project funding, and the Joint Commission, which will provide administrative oversight for the program.
Senior Services Plus will play a pivotal role during the next two years by providing three Healthy Connections coaches at separate hospitals in Madison and St. Clair counties.
“Senior Services Plus has been operating a hospital-to-home program called Healthy Connections since January 2014, which has seen phenomenal growth since it was created,” Senior Services Plus Executive Director Jonathan Becker said. “Being on the leading front of creating a better transitional care program shows the importance of Senior Services Plus in the community and local hospitals.”
Hannah Tolan is a Healthy Connections coach for Senior Services Plus.
“The emphasis of our visits is to empower patients and caregivers to take an active role in their treatment plan and to educate them on community supports and services available to help them stay healthy at home,” Tolan said.
During site visits, the coaches address five primary elements: follow-up appointments, medication management, health safety plans, transportation and linkage to community resources.
The project will include the addition of a pharmacist into the existing Healthy Connections program.
“Medication-related problems occur commonly when older adults leave the hospital,” SIUE School of Pharmacy professor and project director Dr. Mark Ruscin said. “Finding and fixing those problems early after discharge can improve medication safety for seniors and may help reduce the need for additional hospital or emergency room visits. We think having a pharmacist working with the Healthy Connections Coaches can enhance patient safety.”
For information, call Senior Services Plus at (618) 465-3298.